Quality of Life in San Diego>Question Details

Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA

Are there enough homes currently actively listed for sale in San Diego for every homeowner who lost a house?

Asked by Jim Walker, Carmichael, CA Thu Oct 25, 2007

this question asking San Diego based Realtors to tell us what the inventory of active listings in San Diego County is. We will be able to compare that number to the homes that were destroyed or red tagged. I hypothesize that the inventory supply of available homes is a multiple of the number of homes that were destroyed.

A quick search on San Diego indicates there are over 4,000 available single family homes and over 3,000 condominiums available. As of this post, estimates of destroyed homes are between 1540 and 1750. If we assume that this awful number doubles, and we then assume that every victim were to immediately buy a house or condo, only half of San Diego's inventory would be absorbed. Wouldn't it make sense to emphasize the relocation of victims quickly to already existing vacant homes in nearby neighborhoods as a viable alternative to rebuilding the damaged sites which will take many years, and continue to disrupt lives for years during the rebuild?

Help the community by answering this question:


Jim- Was this a question? You seemed to have answered it perfectly! We could definately absorb the fire victims into inventory that is already on the market. Many, of course will want to rebuild where they lived originally.

In the fires 4 years ago, I saw many people buy a less expensive home to live in while they were rebuilding, then keep it as a rental investment once they moved into their new home. Of course, the market then was not what it is now. The home they bought for investment had gone up quite a bit in value in the time it took to rebuild their original homes.

It will be interesting to see what exactly happens with our inventory and the relocation of the fire victims.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 25, 2007
I think people often forget the effect of Substitute Goods on the demand curve. Houses are nothing more then shelter. One can always rent a house or apartment and/or live with family memebers.

Secondly, if you have little, to no, equity in your home and it burns down. Your insurance check will go to pay the bank first. After you pay off the note, how much are you left with? Will they have enough for a down payment? Also as San Diegians, they know the state of the market. I dont think they are in a hurry to purchase a home in the current market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 11, 2007
Jim, I just noticed your response to me earlier. Thanks for your info. I wasn't aware of some of that information. I appreciate it. I have been surprised that I personally haven't seen more "activity" from our fire victims. My only contact with them to date has been that 1 has been looking at one of my listings with their agent. I thought more would be going out to buy before now. After the fires 4 years ago, many of the fire victims realized that they didn't want to rent for up to 2 years. I saw a good number of them buy less expensive homes that could meet the needs of their family, with the idea that when their original home was rebuilt they would then keep the less expensive "temporary" home, and use it as a rental, or sell it, hoping that it would be worth more by then. That hasn't happened this time.

I hope no one misunderstands, and thinks that I am trying to "make a buck" out of another's tragedy. I just am commenting that I find it a curious difference in a similar situation. Especially since there are really more "bargains" out there than the last time around.

Patti Phillips
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2007
Your question is a valid concern and all of us are very saddened for the losses that you and others have suffered. Currently San Diego County has at least 11 months worth of inventory of homes for sale on the market. And the good news is...it's a buyer's market. Houserebate.com is offering to rebate 50% of our commission back to you the homebuyer during this time. Please read the press release below for details. We truly wish you and your family find peace at this difficult time.
Carolyn Bunyard

Firestorm 2007 Relief Package

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In this innovative measure unmatched by any real estate company in the San Diego real estate market, HouseRebate.com is pushing forward to help survivors of Firestorm 2007 start to rebuild their lives in the wake of San Diego county fire disaster. By helping San Diego real estate owners in their pursuits of a safe place to call home, the Firestorm 2007 Relief package by HouseRebate.com will help Firestorm 2007 victims begin a normal life in their new San Diego homes.


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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 26, 2007
Yes, Patti. It was a question I already had an opinion on. Most disaster victims do not realize at first that the federal loan program (SBA disaster assistance for businesses and homeowners) can help to finance a relocation instead of a rebuild. I have always thought the SBA words the fact sheet on low interest loans to emphasize the repair or replacement of disaster damaged property. It requires a thourough reading of the SBA fact sheet to realize that "replacement" can mean relocation.

SBA procedure is to authorize loan approval "as if " the home is to be rebuilt or repaired. The relocation request is usually considered after original loan approval through a "loan modification"

Some little know facts about SBA disaster relocation loans: 1) The interest rate is commonly 2.937% fixed (in most cases) for the SoCAl Fire victims. 2) SBA loans may be placed in second position (if approved by SBA) behind new first loans for relocation purchases.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 25, 2007
Jim Walker, Real Estate Pro in Carmichael, CA
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